Harvardwood published Give a Harvardwood gift certificate this holiday season! in News 2017-12-03 22:49:28 -0800
Scrambling to think of the perfect gift idea for the artist, writer, filmmaker, musician in your life? Look no further! Now you can purchase Harvardwood gift certificates for a year (or more) of Harvardwood membership, event tickets (e.g., admission to three masterclasses in 2018), the Writers Competition application fee, or the new Script Review Service, to name a few examples. Ready to give the gift of Harvardwood this year? Contact us to tell us what "item" you want to gift, or we can also help you put together the ultimate Harvardwood gift package!Read more
Mark your calendars now: our 2017 Holiday Silent Auction goes live on Monday, December 11th and ends Thursday, December 14th! Bids will be accepted online AND by text. When the auction page goes live in a couple of weeks, you'll get all the instructions on how to place bids on your computer or mobile device.Read more
Harvardwood published Support Harvardwood when you do your holiday shopping! in News 2017-11-13 15:36:44 -0800
Shop for everyone on your gift list this holiday at smile.amazon.com/ch/03-0483549 and Amazon donates to Harvardwood. Thank you, and have a wonderful and happy holiday season!
Harvardwood published Exclusive Q&A with ROSHAN SETHI MD '13 (THE RESIDENT) in The #HWIRE 2017-10-31 17:42:55 -0700
By Michael Robin AB '08
Roshan Sethi MD ’13 is a writer and physician whose show The Resident, a medical drama about the darker side of modern medicine, will premiere on Fox in January. Roshan’s feature Call Jane recently attached Elizabeth Moss to star. After completing undergrad at Yale and medical school at Harvard, Roshan began a residency at Harvard in Radiation Oncology, all while balancing a burgeoning career as a writer. Here, we talk with him about his path, his process, and his experiences working with writing partner Hayley Schore.
Q. When did you start writing? When did you begin to consider yourself "a writer”?
A. I started writing as a teenager. Mainly epic fantasy. That was my favorite genre. I read Game of Thrones way before it was fashionable.
Q. What drove you to attend medical school? Did you always know you wanted to be a physician?
A. I did. At a young age, I worked in my mother’s clinic as a receptionist. My twin brother and I sat at the front desk dressed in the same clothes, and led patients back to the examining rooms. I was always in awe of my mother, a general practitioner, who saw children and adults and could handle anything.Read more
Harvardwood published November 2017 | Sandy Climan AB '77, MBA/SM '79 in Alumni Profiles 2017-10-31 17:42:25 -0700
Agent, Producer, Studio Executive (CAA, The Aviator, MGM, Universal)
By Dayna Wilkinson
When people want to hear your opinion, you don’t sugarcoat it or manipulate them. You tell them the unvarnished truth in a way they can absorb and embrace.
When Sandy Climan was growing up in the Bronx, no one would have thought Variety would later call him “the consummate Hollywood insider.” He was the kid who went to math camp, won science competitions and graduated first in his class from the renowned Bronx High School of Science.
“I grew up in a lower middle class, white-and-blue collar neighborhood,” Sandy says. “I hardly ever left the Bronx and, of course, there was no internet then. I went to the movies all the time and watched television incessantly, including great PBS programming like Masterpiece Theatre, Greek dramas and Athol Fugard plays. The only way for me to travel and explore other cultures was through books, television and movies, and they informed me about worlds I had never seen.”Read more
What's the new Harvardwood Script Review service?
The aim of the Harvardwood Script Review service is to give you specific and thorough notes to polish your script further and get it into the best shape possible before you send it out to screenplay competitions, agents, managers, producers, and other industry execs. You'll get a pair of expert, friendly (but critical!) eyes to show you how your script could be improved in future rewrites.Read more
Harvardwood published Exclusive Q&A with RYAN HALPRIN (Lin Pictures) in The #HWIRE 2017-09-01 16:51:07 -0700
By Emily Zauzmer AB '18
Ryan Halprin AB ’12 serves as a Vice President at Lin Pictures, where his responsibilities include co-producing the LEGO movies and developing live action features. A neurobiology concentrator at Harvard, he found his passion in the college’s theater community as an actor turned director. He started as an intern at Lin Pictures in the summer after his junior year and rose through the ranks after college. Here, he discusses his career path, his advice for students hoping to follow in his footsteps, and his work on The LEGO Ninjago Movie, which comes out this month.
Q. How did you go from concentrating in neurobiology at Harvard to pursuing a career in entertainment? Does your science background inform your career path at all?
A. There’s a lot of overlap for me—the two fields get at the same big questions: why do we do what we do? Why are humans so weird? If we study behavior, can we understand it? Help people live better? What does that even mean? When I started college I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I had that curiosity, and the psychology class I took inadvertently revealed that the answers to all these questions are getting unearthed by neuroscience. I wanted in on that action. I thought I could get at the microbiology of love, or fear, even comedy. The more I dug in though, the more I found that so much of what is studied today is organisms with a few thousand brain cells, because humans have 80 billion neurons and there are a lot questions we have to answer before getting to the sexy ones. The practice of it was slow, not very creative, and seldom collaborative.Read more
Orchestra Conductor, The Great Music Series & State of Art
By Dayna Wilkinson
“I’m already in the hot seat as a twenty-eight year old conductor, but I feel incredible joy at the insanely high level of playing and extreme responsiveness of a professional orchestra.”
“Both my parents are professional musicians,” says Yuga Cohler AB '11. “My mother’s a violinist and my father’s a clarinetist so I took up those instruments—it didn’t go well.” Fortunately, those were minor bumps in the road for Yuga, who started studying piano and music theory at age three. By age twelve, his primary instruments were oboe and piano.
“Shortly after starting on the oboe, I went to a music camp called Greenwood,” he says. “That’s when I first discovered people my age who took music seriously. It became a social thing—people I liked were also playing music, which made me like doing it more. By the time I was in my teens, I realized music was really great.”
Yuga was interested in many different musical genres. “I really got into Eminem, then the underground hip hop scene. Also J-pop, Top 40 and musical theater for a while. Plus I listened to tons of classical records from my dad’s collection.”Read more
Harvardwood published Seeking 1-2 volunteers for 6/12 Global Networking Night in LA in News 2017-06-02 12:37:35 -0700
We're looking for volunteers to help out at the registration table alongside Harvard Club of SoCal volunteers for Global Networking Night on Monday, June 12th! The event runs from 6-9pm at the famed EP & LP Rooftop Lounge, and as usual, the LA GNN is expecting a big crowd.
Additional event details about Global Networking Night are here. If you can help out, please contact us soon—thank you for your help and volunteer time! In addition to our gratitude, volunteers will receive 3 months of complimentary Harvardwood membership.Read more
Harvardwood published June 2017 | Mike Sheresky MBA '97 in Alumni Profiles 2017-05-31 12:42:20 -0700
Agent & Partner, United Talent Agency
by Daniel Gale-Rosen AB '10
It all started with Lawrence of Arabia. Michael Sheresky MBA ‘97 was lucky enough to see the re-release of the epic in 70mm at the Ziegfield movie palace, and he says that was what set him on the path to his current life, as agent and partner at United Talent Agency. Day to day, he “represents writers, directors, and producers, and helps them put their movies together.”
Prior to watching that film, Sheresky had been thinking about a life in politics, or on Wall Street. He studied political science in his undergraduate career, though he did try his hand at making some movies. However, he says, “I didn’t think I was, frankly, talented enough. I thought I could have been proficient at it, but I didn’t think I could be great.”Read more
Harvardwood published Exclusive Q&A with Author KAITLIN SOLIMINE in The #HWIRE 2017-05-31 12:41:37 -0700
By D. Dona Le
This summer, award-winning writer Kaitlin Solimine AB '02 is releasing her debut novel, Empire of Glass! In addition to co-founding Hippo Reads, a/k/a the "TED Talks for readers," Kaitlin was a Fulbright Creative Arts Fellow, a Donald E. Axinn Scholar in Fiction (Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 2010), and received the 2012 Dzanc Books/Disquiet International Literary Program award. She concentrated in East Asian Studies at Harvard University and graduated from the UC San Diego MFA program in writing.
Q. What sparked your interest in China and your decision to concentrate in East Asian studies at Harvard?
A. When I was a freshman at Phillips Exeter, I requested to study Japanese but the class was full (this was in 1994 when Japan was in focus!) so the language director suggested I study Mandarin instead (ironically, less crowded). Immediately, I loved the language. My teacher, Ming Fontaine, told me about a home stay program, School Year Abroad (SYA), that had just launched in Beijing (the first high school home stay program in China!), and I jumped at the opportunity. Despite never having left the country, in 1996, I traveled with SYA to China and lived in Beijing as a teenager in my host family’s local apartment. I knew from that point onwards, I wanted to do a scholarly deep dive into Chinese history, culture, language, and more.Read more
Harvardwood published April 2017 | Monica Beletsky AB '99 in Alumni Profiles 2017-04-01 03:49:00 -0700
Writer & Producer (Fargo, Parenthood)
By Sara Lynne Wright
Growing up with an African American dad and a Jewish mom in a diverse neighborhood of Philadelphia, Monica Beletsky AB ‘99 cultivated the empathy she now uses as a TV writer to step into different characters’ points of view. “People who are different from me aren’t just an abstract idea. I was lucky to grow up in a unique neighborhood of ethnic, religious and economic diversity.”
This multiplicity of viewpoints is reflected in the wide range of shows on which she’s been a writer-producer, including Parenthood, Friday Night Lights, The Leftovers, and Fargo.
“The decade before my parents moved to Philadelphia, Black people and Jewish people were being prohibited from getting mortgages. But there were these special twin sister realtors in my neighborhood, West Mount Airy, who found a way to get mortgages for would-be homeowners who were discriminated against.” So by the time Monica was born, her parents’ neighborhood consisted of African-Americans, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, interracial and (later) gay families who were all homeowners or renters in the same neighborhood.Read more
Harvardwood published Exclusive Q&A with LAUREN GREENFIELD AB '87 in The #HWIRE 2017-03-31 18:29:37 -0700
By Terence O'Toole Murnin
On the eve of publishing Generation Wealth, the highly anticipated book and accompanying mid-career retrospective exhibition from acclaimed photographer and documentary filmmaker Lauren Greenfield AB '87, Harvardwood zooms in close for the inside scoop.
Q. What can you tell us about Generation Wealth?
A. The book will be released on May 15, and its creation has really dominated the last eight years of my life. It’s certainly a document of our consumerism, and how we exported these values, especially after the financial crash of 2008. I traveled the world—from California, to Iceland and Dubai—and on to China where in a post-communist era, I witnessed a mad dash for wealth and luxury.
This clash of values where everyone now desires to be a part of the aristocracy also led to gender and body issues. Girls are commodified and the “Princess Myth” has led to an acceptance of prostitution as a way to obtain money and success. Brooke Taylor and the acceptance of high-end brothels as potential career tracks are signs of a cultural shift where fame is now a value.Read more
Harvardwood published Heading to Tribeca 2017? Share your film with Harvardwood! in News 2017-03-05 13:24:28 -0800
If you're involved in a film that will be screened at Tribeca this year, let us know so we can share screening info with the Harvardwood community! We're here to support our members and their endeavors in the arts, media, and entertainment—whether it's by serving as a fiscal NPO sponsor in the early stages of a project or by promoting your concerts, exhibits, or screenings via the Harvardwood Heads To... calendar.
Harvardwood published November 2016 | Tracey Bing MBA '01 in Alumni Profiles 2016-10-31 16:55:47 -0700
By D. Dona Le
“You have to back your instincts in the face of opposition, especially as a producer,” says Tracey Bing MBA '01. “You might be wrong sometimes, and that’s okay. But without conviction, it’s really hard to do this job.”
Bing’s conviction in her judgment and choices as a producer and executive has certainly paid off. Her credits include March of the Penguins, which won the 2006 Oscar for Best Documentary, and most recently, Southside with You, a feature film about Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date. After premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Southside with You was released late this summer in the United States and garnered rave reviews from critics nationwide.
Asked to define what exactly it means to be a producer, Bing first laughs before launching into a clear and comprehensive job description.
“To me, producing is finding the story, working with the writer to develop that story, attaching the talent, and then finding the financing to make that movie.” She continues, “Then, overseeing that whole process from pre- to production to post-production until you deliver it to a distributor. Sometimes you get involved later on in things, but I like to be involved from the ground up.”Read more
Harvardwood published Exclusive Q&A with ANDY BOROWITZ AB '80 in The #HWIRE 2016-10-31 16:54:20 -0700
By Nicole Torres AB '11
New York Times best-selling author and comedian Andy Borowitz AB '80 has written for The New Yorker since 1998. He is the creator of satirical news column The Borowitz Report, for which he won the inaugural National Press Club award for humor. His books include The 50 Funniest American Writers and a memoir, An Unexpected Twist.
Q. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we last profiled you for Harvardwood! Throughout your career you have worked in an impressive number of mediums spanning television, journalism, political satire, social media, stand up comedy, teacher, musician, radio host, and author. How have you managed to transition between and work in so many different arenas?
A. It's all been one long happy accident. Opportunities to do different things, like radio or standup, have presented themselves and I've said yes to them. It's the classic improv lesson of saying "yes, and..." to every proposition. Not everything you try will work out, but it's always interesting to try.
Q. Of all the different mediums and work you’ve done over the years, do you have a favorite?
A. Not really. They've all been fun at the time. I'm really enjoying the mix I have now—writing for The New Yorker, some live shows, some radio—but that mix will no doubt change in the years ahead.Read more
Harvardwood published VIP Lunch with Melinda Hsu Taylor in Summer 2016 VIP Lunch Auction 2016-07-22 01:59:31 -0700
Melinda Hsu Taylor is an Executive Producer on The Vampire Diaries and a proud genre geek.
Previous credits include Lost, Falling Skies, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Medium, and drama pilots for NBC and Lifetime. She is an alum of the Warner Bros. TV Drama Writers' Workshop as well as the WGA Showrunner Training Program, and serves on the Advisory Board for the Sarah Jones Film Foundation, which fosters on-set safety through awareness and accountability.
Harvardwood published VIP Lunch with Samuel Baum in Summer 2016 VIP Lunch Auction 2016-07-22 01:51:37 -0700
Samuel Baum is the co-writer of the upcoming HBO Original Film The Wizard of Lies, starring Robert De Niro. Mr. Baum is currently creating and executive producing television projects for HBO under his development deal with the network.
Previously, Mr. Baum created the Fox television drama Lie to Me. Executive produced by Baum and Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and David Nevins, the award-winning series ran for three seasons.
Mr. Baum also co-created the ABC series The Evidence, which he executive produced along with John Wells Productions.
Additionally, he has written and executive produced television pilots for Amazon, CBS, and the former WB.
As a playwright, Mr. Baum has worked with the Old Globe Theatre, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Mr. Baum is originally from New York City and is a graduate of Harvard College.Read more
Harvardwood published Welcome to the VIP Lunch Silent Auction in Summer 2016 VIP Lunch Auction 2016-07-22 01:31:29 -0700
Bidding ends 11:00am PT on Monday, August 8, 2016.*
*Harvardwood members get ONE extra hour of bidding! If you're a dues-current Harvardwood member, you can continue to place bids until 12:00pm PT on August 8th.
Please review the auction rules and guidelines below before placing any bids.
By bidding in Harvardwood’s silent auctions, each bidder agrees to these auction rules.
- All sales are final. There will be no exchanges or refunds. All items are “as is.” Harvardwood has attempted to describe and catalog items correctly, but neither warrants nor represents and in no event shall be responsible for the correctness of descriptions, genuineness, authorship, provenance or condition of the items. No statement made in this catalog, or made orally at the auction or elsewhere, shall be deemed such a warranty, representation, or assumption of liability.
- Payment for VIP lunch(es) purchased must be made in full within 48 hours of notification that the bidder has won the item. Harvardwood accepts payment by credit card online.
- Following payment(s), you will be put in touch with the VIP's office to schedule the lunch.
- Any VIP Lunch left unclaimed, without prior arrangements, will be sold and proceeds will go to Harvardwood.
- Harvardwood reserves the right to add or withdraw items, without notice, to or from the auction.
- Each person bidding assumes all risks and hazards related to the auction and items obtained at the auction. Each bidder agrees to hold harmless from any liability arising indirectly from Harvardwood, their elected and appointed officials, members and employees, the auctioneer(s), the auction company and its agents and employees, the event organizers, sponsors, and/or volunteers connected with the auction.
- The lunch attendee must be a Harvard student, alum, staff, or faculty member, but is not required to be a Harvardwood member.
- A non-Harvard-affiliated individual may place a bid as long as s/he is doing so on behalf of a Harvard-affiliated lunch attendee (see #7 above).
- Once the lunch attendee is identified, the lunch is strictly non-transferable.
- The lunch is a one-on-one meeting. Winning bidders may not bring additional guests to the VIP lunch.
- The bidding period will end at 11:00am PT on August 8, 2016 for non-members, but Harvardwood members can continue to bid until 12:00pm PT on August 8, 2016. The auction will close at 12:00pm on August 8, 2016.